Meek’s Inherits The Earth

Monday, August 8 2011
Meek’s Inherits The Earth

One reviewer described it as a “wretched week for DVD releases”, which we thought was a bit on the harsh side, but there were varied reviews for some of the most covered titles of the weekend, as our weekly round-up of home entertainment releases in the past seven days proves.

Take Sucker Punch for example. It had what could, at best, be called mixed reviews, perhaps proving the adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Your Highness fared better, but winning over some reviewers while disappointing others.

You could strongly argue that a couple of independent titles – Meek’s Cutoff from Soda Pictures and Kaboom from Artificial Eye – were the most well reviewed titles of the week, while there was further coverage for the previous weekend’s biggies, such as Limitless, Submarine and Super.

Limitless kicks off this week’s round up of reviews where it finished last week, with the top billing in our first port of call and the first of the working week’s regular DVD coverage, the Metro newspaper, given out free in many major cities and conurbations. The Momentum release was joined by a brace of the previous week’s best reviewed titles, Submarine (Optimum) and Super (G2 Pictures). Also reviewed were Matchbox’s Scandinavian horror Evil Rising and, in its regular Cult Vulture section (Oddball Choices For Sofa Loafers) it plumped for Rock Hudson’s Home Movies (Beyond Home Entertainment).

On to the onset of the weekend, and just to ease the flow into Friday we’ll go on to another free metropolitan newspaper, London’s Evening Standard, which covered the familiar trio of Limitless, Submarine and Super.

The Sun featured Richard Hammond’s Journey To The Centre Of The Earth and the third series of Spiral (both 2 entertain).

Over in the Daily Star, the lion’s share of its (near) DVD page to Warner’s Sucker Punch. It included a competition for the film, as well as a positive review. Other titles covered included more from Warner in the shape of Two And A Half Men, alongside A High Wind In Jamaica (Eureka) and Stand By Me (SPHE).

Sucker Punch took the pole position in the Daily Mirror too, although the review was far less complimentary (“five pop videos held together by the slimmest of plots”), although it did give star Vanessa Hudgens the chance to defend the film in an interview. Further reviews were for Your Highness (eOne), Solaris (Artificial Eye), Kaboom (Artificial Eye) and Two And A Half Men: Season 8.

The Daily Mail had those familiar titles Limitless and Submarine cropping up again, while the ever-esoteric choices in Friday’s Daily Express included two from Soda Pictures (Meek’s Cutoff and Island, as well as the Gregg Araki directed Kaboom.

The quality press were no kinder to Sucker Punch, with The Independent doling out a one star review alongside similarly harsh critiques for Your Highness (“woeful sword-and-sorcery spoof”) and Giallo (Lionsgate). It saved the worst for Sucker Punch, saying “Zack Snyder’s latest slice of action fantasy actually makes Your Highness seem less painful”. It was slightly kinder about Camelot Season 1 (eOne), although not much, it must be added, but, in giving four stars to Whisky Galore! (Optimum), adding “in a wretched week for DVD releases, raise a glass to this delightful Ealing comedy from 1949”.

Nothing specific in The Guardian’s Film & Music supplement (however much we like it, we’re still a bit miffed by its lack of support for the DVD industry); over in its G2 section, however, The Pacific (HBO) was a somewhat late entrant into its Your Next Box Set column.

On to Saturday now, and having a quick look at the TV supplements in the tabloid press, a clutch of which regularly have some kind of DVD mentions. So the Daily Mirror’s We Love Telly section had a competition giving away copies of the excellent Twenty Twelve (2 entertain), the Daily Mail’s Weekend had Gossip Girl Season 4 (Warner) while there was coverage in both the two magazines with The Sun, Fabulous having a decent-sized feature on Stand By Me (SPHE’s timely release coincided neatly with the release of the similarly themed Super 8 at cinemas), and in an expanded Must List feature in Buzz in The Sun there were more positive comments than elsewhere (as well as competitions) for Sucker Punch (“brilliantly bizarre in a Matrix meets The Legend Of Zelda kind of way”) and Your Highness (“outrageous, slapstick fairy-tale comedy”).

Moving upmarket, there were four titles covered in the weekend edition of Financial Times, taking in Meek’s Cutoff, Company Men (Universal), Super and Your Highness.

The Guardian’s excellent Guide supplement had a three-page feature on director Gregg Araki, timed to coincide with Totally F***ked Up – F***ked Up Edition (Peccadillo, asterisked because that’s the way it’s done on their sleeve and website http://www.peccapics.com/View/id,80) and the aforementioned Kaboom. As for reviews, opposite a full page ad for Odeon’s Imax cinemas (See More, Hear More, Feel More), Source Code featured as the lead, and mentions for another Optimum title, Whisky Galore, Arrow’s the Garden Of The Finzi-Continis, Meek’s Cutoff and Your Highness.

Over in The Times’ Review section, there was a nice little 5 Minutes With… feature interviewing Source Code director Duncan Jones about the film (among other things, he mentioned being babysat by John Lennon too), all of which plugged The Source Code’s release. Its reviews took in Your Highness, Meek’s Cutoff and The Set-Up, Odeon’s first ever release for the 1949 noir, giving it a full five-star review (“one of the great boxing films… an absolute belter”).

Two familiar faces returned in the Daily Telegraph, as it covered both Submarine and Limitless, as each got four star reviews. And as an interesting sidenote, there was further coverage for Inbetweeners, ahead of its theatrical and Q4 DVD release, the latter from 4DVD.

Sunday now and we’ll start with the Mail On Sunday. Its Review section’s Film DVDs column in turn started off with Source Code, before reviewer Jason Solomons was ruthless about Super, slightly kinder about Meek’s Cutoff and Submarine, and then like The Times before him, gave five stars to The Set-Up (“exciting, tough and stirring”). Below this, there were further reviews given over to TV DVDs, with words on Twenty Twelve, Parenthood Season 1 (Universal Playback) and The Terence Rattigan Collection (Network). There were only two mentions in the MoS’ Live magazine’s This Week’s Entertainment Releases, with the Blu-ray for TT 2011 Review (Duke) and Mars Needs Moms (Disney DVD).

The red-tops now and more on The People’s new We’re Loving… entertainment page, which this week picked United (Revolver) as the best offering for the week, while Camelot featured on its TV page opposite.

The Sunday Mirror (one of the biggest winners this far in the fallout from the closure of The News Of The World, at least in circulation terms) and it had Sucker Punch and Your Highness on its film page.

Those two cropped up again in the Daily Star Sunday, alongside High Fliers’ Dark Matter.

Moving on to the upmarket papers, the Independent On Sunday went with Kaboom and Meek’s Cutoff, the latter scored again in the Sunday Telegraph’s Seven entertainment magazine too, picking up the DVD Of The Week slot, ahead of The Garden Of The Finzi Continis and A High Wind In Jamaica.

Meek’s Cutoff again featured in The Observer (“rewarding” said Mark Kermode). There were also reviews for Kaboom, a hilarious savaging of Sucker Punch (“the triple play DVD/Blu-ray pack boasts an extended cut, which merely prolongs the boredom”), Faster (SPHE), Your Highness and The Company Men. Incidentally, there were a couple of good features, one on Devil’s Double (Icon’s film scored well across the board with plenty of coverage, including another strong one in the Sunday Telegraph) and another – four pages and a cover no less – on Dogwoof’s forthcoming The Interrupters.

The Radio Times featured Your Highness as its DVD Of The Week, with United (Revolver) winning the equivalent TV DVD rating.

Time Out led on Limitless, giving that its DVD Of The Week slot, with a good week for Peccadillo and two reviews, Totally F**ked Up and Man At Bath, A High Wind In Jamaica and, under a Blu-ray revivals banner, Stand By Me and Chocolat.

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